Saturday, January 14, 2012

Suns Date Night

We got a really cool Christmas present from Hubby's sister this to two Suns games! Hubby almost squealed in delight. Almost.

One of the games let us choose which night to attend. Since I was home this week, thanks to some ongoing airplane maintenance, we went to the game on Thursday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hoping for a win...but also knowing that just might not happen at all this season.

We left for downtown Phoenix early in the day so we could get our tickets from the box office before it closed. Then we headed a little north to Macayos for a delicious dinner for two. Man, I love chips and salsa. I ordered Chipotle BBQ Pork Tacos, which were absolutely insane. I even let Hubby taste a bite, and he agreed that my dinner was better than his two burritos and rice. It can sometimes be a burden to have such good taste.

To beat the crowds and get an even cheaper rate in parking, we headed back to US Airways stadium for the game. We were about an hour before game time, but the nice usher lady let us know about watching them warm up court-side. So we walked down there and sat right next to the players as they shot around. When it was time to return to our seats, we warmly thanks the usher lady for the suggestion!

About five minutes into the first quarter, the same nice usher lady walked up to our seats and told us to grab our things and come with her. Everyone around us starting chanting "Upgrade, upgrade!" She gave us tickets to the lower bowl! I was so excited! I tell you...being nice to people can get you anything in life!

This one is for you, Lunch Ladies of my Elementary School! You were always so nice to me when I said thanks to you!

So, suffice it to say, the game was slightly better in the second half. We could actually make out faces of players! It was incredible. And yes...we lost. But it was fun to see the action in person. This was only my second Suns game at the US Airways Center.

It was a fun Date Night, and relatively free for us. Thanks, Jolene and Ji!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kitchen Karma

Sometimes, good things happen to people with kitchen tool obsessions. Such was the case today when I casually went to Fry's Grocery Store to get some grub for dinner. Hey, it just feels nice to be out of the house after being in bed since last Thursday!

I walked around the entire store. My particular grocery store happens to have a home section as well, and I wandered through their new garden department to admire this year's hottest buys. I walked past many-a-thing that could have made a wonderful difference in our new home, mind you. I do have some semblance of self-control, though it rarely manifests itself when most needed. Just so you know.

Cheese. Great! Milk. Done! Special K cereal on sale. My favorite! My cart filled up with wonderful things for low prices that we use all the time. As I was wheeling around the corner on my way to the produce section, I halted. 

Where did that come from? And how did it get in my cart?

I walked back to housewares and discovered a sale on Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Ovens. What was once $80 was now down to $39. And they just so happened to have it in my favorite color. Now it was starting to make sense how that box had mysteriously ended up in my deal-wheeling cart. I didn't fight it. Sometimes things like this just happen, and you have to roll with it. Life isn't perfect, you know?

When the Sale Fairies speak, I listen. Sometimes.

At the cash register, I paid separately for the new, shiny, blue, perfectly-sized Dutch Oven. Since returning my Kindle Fire, I have a whole lotta cash back with which to play. I didn't want to return the Fire...but a few days after I bought it for free I found out that I was getting an iPad for work. It didn't make sense to keep them back went the one that was from my money. This Dutch Oven can simply come out of that change, without a cent missing from our normal, tight monthly budget. We have financial goals, after all, and I simply can't let pretty pieces of kitchen toolery get me off track.

So it was "paid for" with free money and practically hopped into my car for the ride home. Should I seat-belt this guy in? Of course not, Micah. Besides, he isn't old/big enough to sit up front with you, anyway.

When I got home, I patiently put the groceries away first before opening my new treat. The color on the box is slightly different from the actual color, but I still love it. I was expecting a navy/teal blue, when the pot I opened is more of a navy/periwinkle blue. 

We're naming it Perry.

And by "we," I mean that Hubby is eventually going to notice that I bought this. I wish I could say that my sweet savvy shopping skills astound him, but it hasn't impressed him yet. Luckily, it was free money. He will hesitantly sigh jump on board once I remind him how much I use my Red Dutch Oven and love it to pieces. And after I remind him how I constantly silently wished for a slightly smaller version for other dishes. Viola! Silent wish fulfilled!

Yes, a Red Dutch Oven! Yes, I already own a Dutch Oven! It's kitchen karma...remember! I am just dealing with a wonderful situation the best I know how. I have had this red bad guy for a few years and use it all the time. And look how patriotic my pantry now looks with red and blue Dutch Ovens against white shelves? Who can complain too loudly about that?

It was probably the best decision I made all day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jalapenos -- It's What's For Dinner

There I was...sitting at my computer yesterday morning. Feeling pretty puny with the cold lingering on longer than I would have liked, but also dying to do something productive. My least-favorite part about being sick is that I feel lazy...but I don't feel well enough to do anything about it! Yesterday, I felt well enough to do something about it, and I was anxious to get back in the kitchen to make a delicious dinner for my Hubby.

Spreading germs is love, right?

Have I ever told you how much Hubby loved jalapenos? It's almost creepy. He puts them on everything! His sandwiches aren't complete until they've been sufficiently covered in the little green monsters from the industrial-sized container we buy at Costco. We go through a giant jar about every two months. Is that healthy? He puts jalapenos on our homemade nachos, in soup, and over his eggs. He adds them to anything he can think of (ice're next!). And if a dish doesn't have jalapenos on top, he inevitably makes the comment that the little green monsters could be there to make the dish more complete.

So you can imagine my sheer joy yesterday when one of my favorite food bloggers, How Sweet It Is, posted Carmelized Jalapeno Cream Chicken. I immediately texted Hubby to see if he would stop by the grocery store on his way home from work to grab a few jalapeno peppers and a shallot. He was more than happy to oblige, especially when I casually mentioned that he was going to love his dinner.

And he did. I've never seen a grown man cry like that before.

The best thing about trying a new dish is that we can make it our own. Rather than adding the few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese in the recipe, I added a cup of shredded Cheddar instead. I just know my man a little better than some food blogger that I've never met. I also added more milk to about double the original size of the recipe. If this stuff was as good as it sounded, I knew Hubby would want lots of extra sauce to drizzle all over the chicken and rice.

As a result, double the sauce meant we could have added more jalapenos and shallots. You could certainly taste them there, but it wasn't as prominent as my jalapeno aficionado would have liked. He did love everything about the dish, though. I love watching my man go back for seconds and then thirds of something he really enjoys.

And he didn't even bring up that we should add jalapenos to this dish!

If you're wondering what to make for dinner, give this a try. The chicken was moist with a nice coating on top. And the sauce just oozed all over to make a delicious happiness in us both.

Nice job, jalapenos.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

To Reno and Back Again

I've been feeling a little under the weather since I arrived home from work on Thursday afternoon. Hubby has been sick with a cold for almost two weeks, and I think I finally felt sorry that he was going through all of that alone. By the time I pulled into the driveway after being up since 3:50 AM, my throat was tickly and I was beat!

Ironically, I had just stopped at Wally World on my way home to purchase some cold medicine for Hubby. I ended up trying them all instead. Not successfully, mind you. Unless you count the child-size dose of Nyquil taken last night that knocked me out for a solid twelve hours...

Work isn't entirely to blame for me getting sick...but I certainly don't wake up at 3:50 AM on my own!

The airplane had finished some maintenance at Willy Gateway Airport and was ready for pick-up. We arrived around 5:15 AM and hitched a ride to the Service Center from the folks at the wonderful FBO. We decided to wait for Tower to open at 6:00 AM to make the clearance-into-Phoenix-airspace a little easier on everyone. So we carefully pre-flighted the airplane (always happens, but even more so after maintenance has been done. No one likes a screwdriver left in the engine intake. Am I right?).

We fueled enough to land at Phoenix and simply take on our three passengers without needing more fuel for the 1.5-hour trip to Reno. We weren't sure how long we would be gone, so Terry and I brought suitcases. It seems that everyone else got the memo that we would only be gone for the day. Would it kill someone to let the pilots know what's going on?!

We landed exactly at 7:30 AM local time in Reno after losing an hour in the time zone change. Exactly on time! Big Boss's ride was there to take them to their meetings. As he left, he said he would be back around late afternoon.

We got some recommendations as to where we could eat a yummy breakfast, and all of the line guys blurted out "Jack's Cafe" at the same time. It was creepy, but it made the decision of where to eat breakfast very easy. I got a scrambled egg, two pancakes, home fries (I love me some home fries), and about a pound of butter. Warm syrup just made everything that much better. I also accidentally washed it all down with some hot chocolate...with sprinkles! Of course, after breakfast, I recalled that I was trying to eat healthy again. Oops!

Once back at the FBO, I had to have them add a little more fuel to the left wing. I always feel bad that they have to go to all that trouble again for just seven more measly gallons. But if we aren't within 100 pounds of fuel per side for takeoff, we can't go. I reaaaaaaally like knowing I have enough rudder authority to override the fuel in case one engine dies in takeoff. It's the little things in life, really.

By the time I fixed the fuel and paid for everything, we got news that Big Boss was on his way back. It was 10:30! Good thing we didn't take his "late afternoon" statement seriously. We were ready for him when he arrived a half-hour later. 

It's moments like these that make me appreciate that we just camp at the airport all day waiting for this guy. He would have been furious to find out we were sight-seeing or away from the airport when he wanted to go.

A nice, short flight back to Sky Harbor to unload the passengers. After letting the brakes cool, we hopped back in the empty airplane and took off back to Willy Gateway for some things that still needed to be fixed. We have gremlins living in certain systems on that airplane, and they are still trying to troubleshoot to find out how to get them gone! I hope they can finally find a solution...I really love it when the tail heat works properly in the winter!

Mesa-Gateway - Phoenix - Reno - Phoenix - Mesa-Gateway
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